Living with a three-year-old means life is never dull.
It was a great day when Maximus was tall enough to use his stool to wash his own hands after eating. For a while it was fun and exciting and he did it without us telling him. Then we hit a “rough patch” and he refused to do it, always saying he couldn’t do it by himself. Enter writhing child with sticky hands touching every surface between the dining room and his bathroom. That’s one of the big things I’ve learned about this age: some days they can do EVERYTHING. Other days they can do NOTHING. It depends on how much attention they think they are getting. I assume every three-year-old is like this. PLEASE TELL ME THEY ALL ARE!!
Maximus finished his food. Carried his plate to the garbage and threw away the extras. Put his dish in the sink and ran to his bathroom. All without being asked.
Maximus: “I won’t play and make a mess!”
Me: “Good! Thank you.”
There is normally a 50% chance of him playing in the water for 10-15 minutes.
Naps, every parent’s saving grace. The time to get things done: shower, eat, clean, or nap yourself. I’ve heard horror stories about children who drop their naps at age two. I shudder to think of that. Those poor, innocent parents. We are halfway through our holiday break and I can say that Maximus has only taken two naps. I’m pretty confident the only reason he took them was because he had been sick. So! At three-and-a-half, he has decided that he can’t take naps anymore.
“No, if I close my eyes I won’t be able to see.” Yes, that’s the point.
Two toy crashing hours later, “mommy, can I get up now? I closed my eyes!”
“Mommy, can we take a nap in the living room? Because we’re tired, right?”
“Yes, Maximus, let’s take a nap in the living room. Lay down and close your eyes.”
Two minutes later, “Ok, mommy! We’re done with our nap!”
And yet another approach…
“Maximus, how about you watch a movie during quiet time.”
I took an hour nap on the couch. “Mommy, did you open your eyes? Are you done with your nap?”
“Mommy, how many days until Christmas?”
“Today is Sunday and we have Christmas on Tuesday. Tomorrow is Monday and then it will be Tuesday. Two days!”
“Yah! Monday and Tuesday! And we will eat supper and then go to swimming lessons!!!”
“That’s right. On Tuesday’s we go to swimming lessons, but this Tuesday we have Christmas instead.”
During a particularly hard bedtime, I told him that if he woke up Quinten I would have to take his Legos out of his bed. Two minutes in and Quinten was crying, too. Legos out and he cried even more, so we walked out of the room. Twelve loud minutes later, he stopped crying and I could hear him whimpering in his room. He was quietly sobbing, “I want my toys. Mommy, I want my toys.” I walked in there and crouched down to talk to him. “Mommy, why didn’t you come in when I was crying?” “Because you were throwing a tantrum and when you’re throwing a tantrum you don’t listen to mommy when I talk.” “Oh…” “So I waited until you were done crying so I could talk to you.” “Oh…”
My parents were over.
My dad: “Maximus, did you help put up the Christmas tree?”
My dad: “Did you help mommy and daddy do it?”
Maximus: “No, mommy didn’t do it. Just me and daddy. Mommy and Quinten don’t know how.”
My mom: “When mommy was little her and grandpa used to put up our Christmas tree.”
Maximus: “She DID?! Mommy! When you and grandpa were little girls you used to put up the Christmas tree!!”
Maximus: “Grandpa! You and me are the tallest!”
Me: “Maximus, you should have picked you and Quinten because that makes about the same sense.”
Me: “Maximus, do you want a drink of my coffee? No! You’re too little!”
Maximus: “I like red coffee when I get bigger.”